Medicine in World War I


Cover of Edward Coyle. Ambulancing on the French front. New York, 1918.

This is a by-no-means exhaustive bibliography, but a good sampling of contemporary accounts and scholarship on medicine in World War 1.

Diaries and Personal accounts:

Addison, Christopher Addison. Four and a half years: a personal diary from June 1914 to January 1919. London: Hutchison and co. ltd., 1934.

Aldrich, Mildred. A Hilltop on the Marne, being letters written June 3-September 8, 1914. Boston, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915.

American Red Cross Society in France, ed. The Medical Bulletin: A Review of War Medicine, Surgery and Hygiene. Paris: American Red Cross Society in France, 1917.

American Relief Administration. A review of the work of the American Relief Administration in Austria. Vienna, 1921.

Ames, Fisher. American Red Cross work among the French people. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923.

Andrew, A. Piatt. Friends of France: the Field Service of the American Ambulance described by its members. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916.

Barclay, Harold. A doctor in France, 1917-1919: the diary of Harold Barclay. New York: Privately Printed, 1923.

Bendit, Rosa, et al. Das Tagebuch der jüdischen Kriegskrankenschwester Rosa Bendit: 1914 bis 1917. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2012.

Brown, Raymond Shiland. Base hospital no.9, A.E.F.: a history of the work of the New York hospital unit during two years of active service. New York: New York Hospital, 1920.

Buswell, Leslie. With the American Ambulance Service in France, 1916.

Butler, Charles Terry. Charles Terry Butler papers, 1889–1980. The New York Academy of Medicine.
    --“Charles Terry Butler's experiences as a surgeon on First World War front lines are the focus of the collection.”

Cator, Dorothy. In a French military hospital.  London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1915.

Church, James Robb. The Doctor’s Part: What Happens to the Wounded in War. New York/London: D. Appleton and Company, 1918.

Concerning Base Hospital No. 5 : a book published for the personnel of Base Hospital No. 5, France, 1917-18-19. Boston: Barta, [1920?]

Coplin, W. M. American Red Cross base hospital no. 38 in the world war: United States army base hospital no. 38, organized under the auspices of the Jefferson Medical College and Hospital, stationed at Nantes, France, 1918-1919. Philadelphia, 1923.

Coyle, Edward Royal. Ambulancing on the French front. New York: Britton Publ. Com., 1918.

Cushing, Harvey. From a Surgeon’s Journal, 1915-1918. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1936.

Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939. The Story of U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 5Cambridge [Mass.]: University Press, 1919.

 Cutler, Elliott Carr, 1888-1947. A journal of the Harvard Medical School Unit : to the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris, spring of 1915. [S.l.] : [s.n.] 1916?

Dearmer, Mabel. Letters from a field hospital. London : Macmillan and co., limited, 1915.

Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front; 1914-1915France, 1915.

Eydoux-Démians, M. In a French hospital; notes of a nurse. New York, Duffield & company, 1915.

Foulkes, Charles Howard. "Gas!": The story of the Special brigade. Edinburgh, London: W. Blackwood & Sons, Ltd., 1934.

French Hospital (New York, N.Y.). Records, [1885–1964]. The New York Academy of Medicine.
---“Included are two photograph albums containing related clippings and correspondence concerning the hospital's unit at Passy, France, during World War I, c. 1917, and posters: "Armée de mer et Armée de terre / Ordre de mobilisation générale ..." (France, c.1914); "Ordre de réquisition ... le Ministre de la Guerre" (France, c.1914).”

Hahn, Gerhard. Totentanz 1914/15, aus dem Skizzenbuch eines Feldarztes. Leipzig, Barth, 1915.

Herringham, Wilmot Parker. A physician in France. London, E. Arnold, 1919.

The History of U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 6 and its part in the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1918; with an introduction by Henry Alden Shaw. Boston, Mass.: Massachusetts General Hospital, 1924.

Howe, Mark Antony de Wolfe. The Harvard Volunteers in Europe: Personal Records of Experience in Military, Ambulance, and Hospital Service. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1916.

Hutchinson, Woods. The Doctor in War. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin company, 1918.

Judd, James Robert. With the American ambulance in France. Honolulu, Star-Bulletin Press, 1919.

Kassowitz, Karl E. Around a world on fire: exploits and escapes of an Austrian World War surgeon. [Milwaukee]: Gutenberg Pub. Co., 1935.

Klein, Félix. La guerre vue d'une ambulance, par l'abbé Félix Klein, aumônier de l'Ambulance américaine. 2ème éd. Paris, A. Colin, 1915

Klein, Félix.  Diary of a French army chaplain, translated from "La guerre vue d'une ambulance," by Harriet M. Capes. London: A. Melrose, [1915]

Lee, Roger Irving.  Letters from Roger I. Lee, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps, 1917-1918. 1st ed. Brookline, Mass.: R.I. Lee, 1962.

“Mademoiselle Miss”: Letters from an American Girl Serving with the Rank of Lieutenant in a French Army Hospital at the Front. Boston: WA Butterfield, 1916.

Manion, R. J. A surgeon in arms. New York, London: D. Appleton and Co., 1918.

Martin, Arthur Anderson. A surgeon in khaki. New York, Longmans, Green & co.; London, E. Arnold, 1915.

Matthews, Caroline Twigge. Experiences of a woman doctor in SerbiaLondon: Mills and Boon limited, 1916.

Northcliff, Alfred Harmsworth. At the war. London, New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916.

Reznick, Jeffrey S. John Galsworthy and Disabled Soldiers of the Great War: With an Illustrated Selection of His Writings. Cultural History of Modern War. Manchester, UK ; New York : New York: Manchester University Press ; Distributed in the USA by Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Root Sayles, Esther, and Marjorie Crocker. Over Periscope Pond: Letters from Two American Girls in Paris, October 1916-January 1918. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1918.

Rorie, David. A medico's luck in the war: being reminiscences of R.A.M.C. work with the 51st (Highland) division, Aberdeen: Milne & Hutchison, 1929.

Salmand, Monica Grenfell. Bright armour: memories of four years of war. London: Faber and Faber limited, 1935.

Seymour, James WD. History of the American Field Service in France: “Friends of France” 1914-1917: Told by Its Members (Volume 1). Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1920.

Simons, E. M. Drei Monate Regimentsarzt im Ostheere. Heilbronn, E. Salzer, 1915.

Smith, Leslie. Four years out of life. [London]: P. Allan, 1931.

Souttar, Henry Sessions. A surgeon in Belgium. London: E. Arnold, 1915.

 Stimson, Julia C. Finding themselves; the letters of an American Army chief nurse in a British hospital in France. New York: Macmillan, 1918.

Thurstan, Violetta. Field hospital and flying column; being the journal of an English nursing sister in Belgium & Russia. London; New York: G.P. Putnam's sons, 1915

Toland, Edward Dale. The Aftermath of Battle: With the Red Cross in France. New York: Macmillan, 1916.

Vassal, Joseph Marguerite Jean. Uncensored letters from the Dardanelles : written to his English wife by a French medical officer of Le Corps expéditionnaire d'Orient. London: W. Heinemann, 1916

Vivian, Evelyn Charles. With the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.) at the front.  London; New York : Hodder and Stoughton, 1914.

Walker, Henry Francis Bell. A doctors̓ diary in Damaraland London: E. Arnold, 1917.

A War Nurse’s Diary: sketches from a Belgian field hospital. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1918.

Westerdale, T. L. Barlow. Under the Red cross flag; with the 'medicals' in action.  London: C.H. Kelly, [1915].

Worcester, Alfred. American Red Cross service in Switzerland, 1918-19. Boston: Four Seas, 1925.

Wigle, Shari Lynn. Pride of America, We’re with You: The Letters of Grace Anderson, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, World War I. 1st ed. American Voices Series. Rockville, MD: Seaboard Press, 2007.

Wyss, Walter H. von. Als Arzt einer russischen Ambulanz: von dem Leben einer Ambulanz des russischen Roten Kreuzes an der russischen Front.  Zürich: Rascher, 1918.


Military Nursing:

American National Red Cross, Lavinia L. Dock, Sarah Elizabeth Pickett, and Clara Dutton Noyes, eds. History of American Red Cross Nursing. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922.

Budreau, Lisa M. and Richard M. Prior, eds. Answering the call: the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, 1917-1919 : a commemorative tribute to military nursing in World War I.  Washington, DC: Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army, Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 2008.

Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front; 1914-1915Edinburgh; William Blackwood and Sons, 1915.

Fell, Alison S., and Christine E. Hallett, eds. First World War Nursing: New Perspectives. Routledge Studies in Modern History 11. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Hallett, Christine E. Containing Trauma: Nursing Work in the First World War. Cultural History of Modern War. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009.
   --- Veiled Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Higonnet, Margaret R., Ellen Newbold La Motte, and Mary Borden, eds. Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of the Great War. Boston, Mass: Northeastern University Press, 2001.

Lee, Janet. War Girls: The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in the First World War. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005.

Meyer, Jessica. “Neutral Caregivers or Military Support? The British Red Cross, the Friends’ Ambulance Unit, and the Problems of Voluntary Medical Aid in Wartime.” War & Society 34, no. 2 (May 2015): 105–20. doi:10.1179/0729247314Z.00000000050.

Powell, Anne. Women in the War Zone: Hospital Service in the First World War. Stroud [England]: History Press, 2009.

Thurstan, Violetta. A text book of war nursing. London; New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1917.

Wigle, Shari Lynn. Pride of America, We’re with You: The Letters of Grace Anderson, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, World War I. 1st ed. American Voices Series. Rockville, MD: Seaboard Press, 2007.


Medicine/Medical Research/Surgery:

Barling, Seymour. A manual of war surgery. London: Henry Frowde; Hodder & Stoughton, [1919].

Bennett, J D. “Medical Advances Consequent to the Great War 1914-1918.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 83, no. 11 (November 1990): 738–42.

Berry, James, Sir, 1860-1946. The story of a Red Cross unit in Serbia.  London: J. & A. Churchill, 1916

Bourrillon, Maurice. Comment rééduquer nos invalides de la guerre; assistance aux estropiés et aux mutilés en Danemark, Suède et Norvége. Paris, et Nancy, Berger-Levrault, 1916.

Davis, John Staige. “Plastic Surgery in World War I and in World War II.” Annals of Surgery 123, no. 4 (April 1946): 610–21.

Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers). American Homeopathy in the World War.  [Chicago]: American Institute of Homeopathy, 1923., n.d.

Draenert, Marcelin Oliver. “Swiss Contributions to War Surgery During the Great War.” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 471, no. 8 (August 2013): 2712–25. doi:10.1007/s11999-013-3019-2.

Dupuy, Georges M. The stretcher bearer: a companion to the R.A.M.C. training book, illustrating the stretcher-bearer drill and the handling and carrying of wounded. London: H. Frowde [etc.], 1915.

Fauntleroy, Archibald Magill. Report on the medico-military aspects of the European War from observations taken behind the allied armies in France.  Washington, Government Printing Office, 1915.

Goldthwait, Joel E. The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery in the A. E. F. Norwood, Mass.: Priv. print. at the Plimpton press, 1941.

Great Britain. Army Medical Services. Memorandum on the treatment of injuries in war: based on experience of the present campaign, July, 1915.  London: Printed under the authority of H.M.S.O. by Harrison and Sons, 1915.

Hackenbruch, Peter Theodor. Vademekum für die Verwendung der Röntgenstrahlen und des Distraktionsklammer-Verfahrens in und nach dem Kriege. Leipzig: Otto Nemnich Verlag, 1915.

Kriegsärztliche Vorträge : während des Krieges 1914-1918 an den "Kriegsärztlichen Abenden" in Berlin. Jena: G. Fischer, 1915-1919.

MacCallum, W. G. Special Autopsy Methods. Washington: Surgeon General’s Office : 1918.

Martinier, Paul, George Harold Lawson Whale, and Georges Lemerle. Injuries of the Face and Jaw and Their Repair; and the Treatment of Fractured Jaws. London: Baillière, Tindall and Cox, 1917. 

Medical Research Council (Great Britain). Chemical warfare medical committee. Reports of the chemical warfare medical committee of the Medical Research Council. nos. 1-20. London : H.M.S.O., 1918-20.

Mitchell, Thomas John, and G. M. Smith. Medical Services, Casualties and Medical Statistics of the Great War. History of the Great War, Based on Official Documents. London: H. M. Stationery Off, 1931.

Penhallow, Dunlap Pearce. Military Surgery. Oxford Medical Publications. London: H. Frowde; Hodder & Stoughton, 1918.

Reinach, Joseph, 1856-1921. Le service de santé pendant la guerre. Paris : Bloud & Gay, 1915.

Reports of the Harvard University Service, American Ambulance : Neuilly-sur-Seine, France : April-May-June, 1915. [Boston : s.n., 1916?]

Reports upon investigations in the United Kingdom of dysentery cases received from the eastern Mediterranean. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1917. 4 volumes

Rice, G. H. “The Evolution of Military Medical Services 1854 to 1914.” Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 135, no. 3 (October 1989): 147–50.

Principles of War Surgery, Based on the Conclusions Adopted at the Various Interallied Surgical Conferences. Washington, 1918.

United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces. Defensive measures against gas attacks. France : Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, [Nancy : Berger-Levrault], 1917.

United States. Navy Department. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Report on the medico-military aspects of the European War from observations taken behind the allied armies in France. Washington, 1915.

Wallace, Cuthbert Sidney, and John Fraser. Surgery at a Casualty Clearing Station. London: A. & C. Black, ltd., 1918. 

Weber, André. L'emploi des rayons X dans la localisation des projectiles de guerre. (Étude de quelques procédés et en particulier du repéreur Marion-Danion).  Paris: Le François, Libraire, 1915.

Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine, ed. Medicine and Surgery in the Great War, 1914-1918; an Exhibition to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Armistice, 11 November 1918. Exhibition Catalogues, no. 4. London, 1968.

Wright, Almroth. A Lecture on the Lessons of the War and Some New Prospects in the Field of Therapeutic Immunisation: Delivered at the Royal Society of Medicine, February 25, 1919. London: Printed at The Lancet Office, 1919.

 For hospitals in World War 1, see the University of Pennsylvania's Online Book Page on the topic:


Shell shock/PTSD:

Bergen, Leo van. Before My Helpless Sight: Suffering, Dying and Military Medicine on the Western Front, 1914-1918. The History of Medicine in Context. Farnham, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub, 2009.

Brown, Mabel Webster. Neuropsychiatry and the war; a bibliography with abstracts. New York: War Work Committee, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, Inc., 1918.

Crichton Miller, H. Functional Nerve Disease: An Epitome of War Experience for the Practitioner. Oxford Medical Publications. London: H. Frowde; Hodder & Stoughton, ltd., 1920. 

Leese, Peter. Shell Shock: Traumatic Neurosis and the British Soldiers of the First World War. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Linden, Stefanie C., Volker Hess, and Edgar Jones. “The Neurological Manifestations of Trauma: Lessons from World War I.” European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 262, no. 3 (April 2012): 253–64. doi:10.1007/s00406-011-0272-9.

Linden, Stefanie Caroline, and Edgar Jones. “German Battle Casualties: The Treatment of Functional Somatic Disorders during World War I.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 68, no. 4 (October 2013): 627–58. doi:10.1093/jhmas/jrs024.

Loughran, Tracey. “Shell-Shock and Psychological Medicine in First World War Britain.” Social History of Medicine 22 (2009): 79–95.

Macleod, A D. “Shell Shock, Gordon Holmes and the Great War.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 97, no. 2 (February 2004): 86–89.

Marr, Hamilton Clelland. Psychoses of the War, Including Neurasthenia and Shell Shock.  London: H. Frowde; Hodder & Stoughton, 1919.

Pols, Hans, and Stephanie Oak. “War & Military Mental Health.” American Journal of Public Health 97, no. 12 (December 2007): 2132–42. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.090910.

Porter, William T. Shock at the Front.  Boston : Atlantic Monthly Press, 1918.

Read, C. Stanford. “A Psychological Retrospect of the Great War.” Journal of Neurology and Psychopathology 4, no. 14 (August 1923): 199–200.

Southard, Elmer Ernest. Shell-Shock and Other Neuropsychiatric Problems Presented in Five Hundred and Eighty-Nine Case Histories from the War Literature, 1914-1918. Monograph Number Three of the Psychopathic Department [Boston State Hospital]. Boston: W.M. Leonard, 1919.

Yealland, Lewis Ralph. Hysterical Disorders of Warfare. London: Macmillan and Co, 1918.

Recent and secondary scholarship:

Berry, Diana, and Campbell Mackenzie, eds. The Legacy of War: Poetry, Prose, Painting and Physic. London: Royal Society of Medicine Press, 1995.

Byerly, Carol R. Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army During World War I. New York: New York University Press, 2005.

Carden-Coyne, Ana. Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism, and the First World War. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
-The Politics of Wounds: Military Patients and Medical Power in the First World War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Cohen, Deborah. The War Come Home: Disabled Veterans in Britain and Germany, 1914-1939. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Cooter, Roger, Mark Harrison, and Steve Sturdy, eds. War, Medicine and Modernity. Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1998.

Deranian, Hagop Martin.  Miracle man of the western front : Dr. Varaztad H. Kazanjian, pioneer plastic surgeon. Worcester, Mass. : Chandler House Press, 2007.

Fell, Alison S., and Christine E. Hallett, eds. First World War Nursing: New Perspectives. Routledge Studies in Modern History 11. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Fisher, W. Douglas, and Joann H. Buckley. African American Doctors of World War I: The Lives of 104 Volunteers. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, Inc., 2016.

Fitzgerald, Gerard J. “Chemical Warfare and Medical Response During World War I.” American Journal of Public Health 98, no. 4 (April 2008): 611–25. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2007.11930.

Hallett, Christine E. Containing Trauma: Nursing Work in the First World War. Manchester, England; New York; Vancouver: Manchester University Press, 2011.
—. Veiled Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Harrison, Mark. The Medical War: British Military Medicine in the First World War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Higonnet, Margaret R., Ellen Newbold La Motte, and Mary Borden, eds. Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of the Great War. Boston, Mass: Northeastern University Press, 2001.

Keegan, John. The First World War. 1st American ed. New York: A. Knopf ; Distributed by Random House, 1999.

Keene, Jennifer D. The United States and the First World War. Seminar Studies in History. Harlow, England ; New York: Longman, 2000.
World War I. American Soldiers’ Lives. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2006.

Linker, Beth. War’s Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America. Chicago, Ill. ; London: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
-“Feet for Fighting: Locating Disability and Social Medicine in First World War America.” Social History of Medicine 20, no. 1 (April 2007): 91–109. doi:10.1093/shm/hkl082.

Mayhew, E. R. Wounded: A New History of the Western Front in World War I. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Perry, Heather R. Recycling the Disabled: Army, Medicine, and Modernity in WWI Germany. New York, NY: Manchester University Press, 2014.

Powell, Anne. Women in the War Zone: Hospital Service in the First World War. Stroud [England]: History Press, 2009.

Thomas, Gregory Mathew. Treating the Trauma of the Great War: Soldiers, Civilians, and Psychiatry in France, 1914-1940. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009.